Thursday, June 21, 2012

If Creamsicle Were a Color

The words she spoke to my seventeen-year-old self were innocent enough and probably meant to be a taken as a compliment:

"You would look good in earth-tones; you should wear earth-tones."

Not all at once, but slowly over the course of the next four years, all of the color dutifully faded out of my wardrobe. Somehow my closet morphed into a has-been rainbow of boxy navy blues, grays, and sepia-tone browns without me really even noticing.

I could have stood on almost any street in my neighborhood and if it were not for my creamsicle colored bicycle, it would have been difficult to tell where I ended and where the soggy Portland landscape began.

It took a roommate intervention to make it clear to me. I was trying to blend in; I did not really want be seen; did not wish to stand out too much.

It has been far, far, far (can you tell that I just had a birthday?) too many years than I care to admit since this friend-to-friend conversation took place, but even after inviting ROY-G-BIV back into my closet I still find that I have to be very intentional about which voices I let color my life.

Sometimes I put my guard down again and find that, without even realizing it, I begin to let partial truths define me.

And really, don't some of the best lies always contain at least a little truth?

This morning when I awoke it was raining again as it has been most of the week. I felt defeated before my feet had even hit the ground.

For months my list of 'Shoulds' has been growing and I have been running to keep up--be who I think I should be--with very little progress.

What could possibly be different about this day?

Why can't I seem to:

Get my house in order?
Find routine?
Write more?
Start exercising?
Fit in that shower?
Feed my children better?
Send that letter to a friend who could use encouraging?
Get out of survival mode?

Do you know these voices? The ones that tell you that you look best in gray? In one form or another they give you reason to believe them and eventually you put on your uniform without consideration for the fact that maybe there is another option.

Was the effort to throw off my covers and leave my hidden spot even going to be worth it?

Thankfully, Veracity intervenes.

I look out the window and notice Grace break clouds. Light and tears dance to produce color that can only be squeezed out of a storm.

Feet swing, legs lift and carry.

Later, Love shows up, a little girl clutching her pallets of water colors, asking to paint the world.

How can I say no?

We delight in each brush stroke.

Red
Orange
Yellow
Blue
Green
Indigo
Violet

The hues leave their lines,
spill over and run,
cover us.

And we wear them as they should be worn--like a compliment.


This post was linked up with Emily at  Imperfect Prose

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kathi
    What a wonderous post. Glad I visited you from Emilie's! Yes, dear one, we all go through the greys, blacks and browns of life, but summertimes as well when a burst of colorful joy breaks forth in our hearts. Thank you, I enjoyed this.
    Blessings
    Mia

    ReplyDelete

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